Friday, May 22, 2015

sweet-and-spicy three-bean salad

We had some friends visiting from Seattle, and one of them is vegan. I love beans anyway, so I didn't mind cooking a bit differently for a few days.

This dish involves no cooking whatsoever, just some chopping and mixing. Grab some canned chickpeas and kidney beans (or your beans of choice--a mix of colors is pleasant), and some freshly cooked or frozen chopped green beans.

I used Okinawan "black sugar" for the sweetener, and a chopped dried chili pepper for the heat. Mmmm!

You'll need:
  • 2 cans (about 400 g each) of different colored beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped cooked green beans (can be frozen)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions (can be frozen)
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet peppers (I used a combination of red and yellow)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • about 1-2 T. sugar
  • about 1 t. salt
  • about 1/4 t. pepper
  • one dried chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
Do this:

Toss the beans, onions, chili pepper, and sweet peppers into a bowl. In a measuring cup, mix the liquid ingredients, sugar, salt, and pepper, then stir into the beans. Refrigerate all day or overnight.

The longer you let it soak in the cool tub, the better.

This was the first time I've added heat, and it was perfect. 


Monday, May 18, 2015

gluten-free blueberry-yuzu mug muffins

I honestly can't remember now where I got the idea to make mug muffins in the first place, but somewhere online--um, do you know? {Nobody knows.}

So anyway, I've been riffing on microwave mug muffins in my ovenless kitchen for many months now.

And yuzu fruit is my favorite lately--I use it on fish, in sauteed greens, in desserts. You name it, it's got yuzu in it. (My preciouses.)

You'll need:
  • a greased mug
  • a beaten egg
  • 3 T. almond flour
  • 1/4 t. each cinnamon and powdered ginger
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • a spoon of honey and maybe a sprinkle of dehydrated 100% maple syrup flakes, if you have a Canadian friend who shares (luckily I do)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a pinch each of salt and baking powder
  • 1 t. yuzu juice
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
Do this:

Using a wire whisk, beat all the ingredients together, then stir in the blueberries at the end with a spoon. 

Microwave a couple of minutes, and presto! Pour on your favorite kind of milk (I use soy or almond), then spoon into your gob. Yummeroony. Blueberries and citrus just go crazy together.

miso potatoes

Leftover mashed taters? A dollop of miso mixed through is umami heaven.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

crispy gluten-free yuzu salmon burgers

I'm always working on perfecting my salmon burgers, but I never use a recipe! This is a conjured crispy-outside-and-citrusy-salmony-inside burger.

There were three of us eating these, and I also made homemade sweet potato and white potato mash to eat alongside. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled as needed.

You'll need:
  • 1 (180-g) can bone-in salmon (break up the salmon and crush the bones with your fingers)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C. almond flour, as needed for binding
  • 1 T. yuzu juice
  • 2 T. Japanese mayo (they use rice vinegar, which adds a nice tang)
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. coarse salt
  • 1/4 t. coarse black pepper
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1/8 C. chopped green onion (can use frozen straight from the freezer)
  • rice breadcrumbs or cornmeal for coating the burgers
  • olive oil for frying
Do this:

Mix it all up nice and easy in a glass mixing bowl, or whatever you've got, then form into patties and roll in your rice breadcrumbs or your cornmeal. Fry over medium heat in a frying pan until crispy and brown on each side.

Enjoy with some ketchup and your two favorite Beans. Beware: they'll want seconds! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

lovely leftover lunch

What to do with a bunch of salady-type leftovers? Add some canned tuna and go to town!

Here's what I did:

Cooked rice in the rice cooker and made it into a bowl-bed for these lovelies to rest on.

Mixed canned tuna with leftover homemade tartar sauce and cold cooked peas.

Added it on top of the rice along with leftover homemade coleslaw (I tend to throw in quite a lot of green onions to mine to give it a kick) and leftover salad (spicy wasabi leaves, tomatoes, cukes, sugar snap peas, and Japanese "five-vegetable" dressing).

For the green smoothie: blend spinach, bananas, pineapple, avocado, carrot, and coconut milk.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

carrot milkshake



So easy and a nice, unusual flavor (recipe from the soy milk package).

Blend 800 ml of soy milk, one carrot, and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Monday, March 16, 2015

homemade chai lattes

A little spice for happy Mundays:

Brew some spicy chai tea, but don't fill up the mugs. Leave about 1/3 of the top free.

Add a little honey if you like. Heat up some milk on the stove, then froth it with a sweet little 100-yen frothing toy. Pour it over the tea and add a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Monday, March 2, 2015

japanese chicken burgers with homemade teriyaki sauce

Here's another recipe based on one by Just One Cookbook. Stephen and I loved her kimchi fried rice, but this one passed with flying colors for all four of us.

Just One Cookbook's original recipe was for chicken meatballs, but I had a little six-year-old helper, and we patted them into more of a hamburger shape. You can click on the above link to see the full recipe, but I did change a few things: I used okara instead of regular tofu, I added in some minced garlic cloves, and I left out the sweet peppers in favor of extra green onion.

Umami factor: 10++++++/10.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

kimchi fried rice

I made this quite awhile ago, but man, it's so tasty. I'm imagining eating it again right now, and I see another kimchi fried rice lunch coming up soon. Based on Just One Cookbook's recipe, I pretty much left it just as it was. More, more, more-ish.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

gluten-free matcha steamed cakes


I've been really inspired lately to steam a dessert, especially as I have no oven. I also like to keep things gluten free when possible, and I can buy almond flour from my local grocery store here in Kanazawa.

This recipe for a gluten-free steamed pudding with a rhubarb sauce sounds really good, and I hope to make that soon. However, in the meantime, I wanted something small to start with--something in individual sizes and not too time consuming.

Enter Just One Cookbook's green tea steamed cakes. After making her very more-ish kimchi fried rice recently, I knew her recipes were probably all amazing!


Matcha powder and sweet red beans are easy to come by in Japan, so all I had to do was change out a few ingredients to make it a little friendlier for our eating habits.

I mixed up the batter, put half in the bottom of the cupcake liner, put in a spoonful of sweet (organic) red beans, and then covered it with the rest of the batter.


I loved Just One Cookbook's idea to wrap a towel around the lid of the pan--it kept the condensation from coming back down on to the cakes.


The link to Just One Cookbook's recipe is above, and here is how I changed it a bit.

You'll need:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • 1 T. honey
  • 2 T. soy milk
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 C. almond flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. matcha (bitter green tea powder)
  • sweet red bean paste or sweet red beans 
Do this:

Wrap your frying pan lid with a towel. Put four ramekins into the empty pan, put water in halfway up the ramekins, then remove the ramekins again and put cupcake liners in them. Start boiling your water.

While you're doing that, whisk the egg, butter, honey, milk, and sugar in a bowl, then sift in the baking powder and matcha powder.

Spoon some batter in the bottom of each cupcake liner, dollop in a spoonful of sweet red beans, and cover with the rest of the batter.

Steam for 12-14 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean. The bottom of the cupcake will be a bit squidgy because the beans sink to the bottom, but they are completely delightful. (Just One Cookbook serves the red beans as a topping after the cakes are finished cooking.)

Itadakimasu! 

coconut-milk green smoothie

So easy: spinach, avocado, carrot, fresh ginger, banana, frozen mango, coconut milk. And so creamy, tropical, and lovely.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

one-(wo)man coffee

Have you seen these little one-cup coffee filters? In addition to the coffee grounds it comes with, I've just put in some cinnamon, nutmeg, garam masala, and chopped crystallized ginger and candied orange peel. This isn't really gourmet coffee (we don't have a coffee maker), but it's fair trade and from our local Aeon grocery store (store brand).

Are these only in Japan?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

thai peanut chicken + rice noodles

Not gonna make this very often because it was a PITA (pain in the...tushy), but it was YUM. Thai rice noodles, chicken, and homemade Thai peanut sauce (homemade peanut butter, garlic, ginger, lime juice, honey, coconut milk, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce). Topped it with some grated lime peel. I want to eat the whole room every time I walk back in and smell the lingering leftover scent. (Sauce recipe from my blender cookbook.) Hooray for national holidays and time to fiddle in the kitchen!

Friday, January 2, 2015

(clean) snow smoothie

Kanazawa snow, blueberries, carrots, cucumber, spinach, avocado, banana, coconut milk, fresh ginger, tangerine, and a smiley face

Thursday, January 1, 2015

chestnut-ginger rice pudding with(out) coconut-rum cream

A new development for a new year! Here's hoping 2015 is extra tasty.

You'll need:
  • 200 g (7 ounces) cooked and shelled chestnuts, chopped in halves
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 c. short-grained rice
  • 3 c. soy milk (or your milk of choice)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. cardamom
  • 4 pieces crystallized ginger, diced finely
  • 1/8 c. honey
  • 1 t. vanilla
For the cream:
  • 1 can coconut milk, pre-chilled in fridge (open it, scrape the hardened layer from the top and put it in a big bowl, and use the liquidy part for a smoothie or something--put the bowl and coconut cream in the fridge to stay cold till ready)
  • 2 t. powdered sugar
  • 2 t. rum
Do this:

First of all, a heads-up: watch your pot. Watch it like a hawk--milk enjoys boiling over. It gets a kick out of making a gihugic stinky burned mess on your gas burner. Not that I would know anything about that.

And now on to the actual directions.

I washed my rice to get the extra starch off, then put it in a pan with the milk and salt. I brought it to a lively simmer-boil, constantly stirring, and added the rest of the ingredients as the rice started to soften.

Watch it, watch it, watch it. Wait for it. Stir often to keep it from sticking.

When it's sufficiently mushy, bring your bowl and cream out of the fridge, and using a hand mixer, blend with the powdered sugar and rum. I've tried this with two different brands of coconut milk, and the last batch stiffened up nicely. This one didn't and stayed runny. Either way, delish. Just don't share this part with the kiddiewinks--they can have some cream sans the yummy rummy.

Dollop (or spoon) onto your rice pudding and sprinkle with a little cinnamon for a nice toasty-colored garnish.